Sony 135mm F2.8 T4.5 STF A-mount lens review by seevve

reviewer#5514 date: Jun-10-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- 135za
- 85za, 85G
- 100Macro
- 200G
- 200Macro
- some manual lens
price paid:1000$ (used)
positive:+ Sharpness from wide open
+ Exclusive very smooth bokeh
negative:- Too much CA in bokeh.
- Manual AF only.
- No AF confirmation.
- Ring of manual AF have to small angle control angle.
- extends on focusing.
- plastic hood.
- now weather resistance.
comment:This review after my second experience with STF. First i bought when i have A100 and sold it after some week experience because on that moment it was too hard to me focus properly without confirmation. Some later i bought STF again and now much more positive experience, but in all i get only 10% sharp images.

STF very very special lens. I use it rare, mostly in portrait shooting and sometimes to shoot beauty of nature near macro (flavour, leaves...).
Bokeh is awesome. There are no any other lens that can produce bokeh to compare. Lens is sharp from wide open. And 95% photos i made on STF take from F2.8(T4.5). I think that STF@T4.5 sharper than 85za@F2 and comparable with 135za@1.8
In bokeh i found many CA (bokeh CA in terms).
not fast (T4.5) 135mm lens is not very useful on cropped sensors. I have 15 minutes experience with STF on A900 with M-type screen and it was much more versatile.
On my own A700 for portrait shooting from 85za, 135za, 135STF personally i prefer 85/1.4 lens.
The only minus with STF on my experience is the focus ring. It have small (for manual focus only lens) control angles. i try some M42 lens, macro lens, all typically have angle at ~180-270 degrees, while STF only ~120. STF exceptionally hardly use STF to shoot on distance longer than 3 meters, while (for example) 135/3.5 Takumar was ok at distance to 10.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 43
  • sharpness: 4.90
  • color: 4.95
  • build: 4.84
  • distortion: 4.86
  • flare control: 4.77
  • overall: 4.86 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania